The Biden-Harris Administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today announced $50 million in funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for states to ensure that smart manufacturing technologies and high-performance computing are more accessible by domestic manufacturing firms. The State Manufacturing Leadership Program aims to remove existing barriers that prevent innovative, data-driven tools and technologies from being used by small- and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs). These critical tools will allow SMMs to increase production efficiency and play key roles in bolstering the domestic manufacturing base. Widespread deployment of smart manufacturing is key to achieving the President’s goal of a net-zero economy by 2050 and will help to secure America’s global leadership in manufacturing for decades to come.
“Unlocking the potential for small- and medium-sized clean energy manufacturing facilities to use the same technologies as larger facilities will make us more competitive on a global scale,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This funding opportunity will ensure that the benefits of a clean energy economy are felt across the country.”
President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.
This program will support all U.S. states, including Washington, D.C. and U.S. territories, in accelerating the deployment of smart manufacturing technologies by SMMs by providing financial assistance to SMMs to implement smart manufacturing technologies and practices and broaden access to high-performance computing resources.
Smart manufacturing advances interconnectivity to improve production and increase the overall efficiency of the manufacturing process. These fully integrated and collaborative manufacturing systems respond in real time to changing demands and conditions in production facilities and within the supply network. High-performance computing can enable dramatically faster and more accurate modeling, simulation, and data analysis to solve technological problems and reduce costly “trial and error” steps during development. The majority of SMMs currently do not employ smart manufacturing or high-performance computing technologies due to expensive costs, and a mismatch between staffing and access to training resources.
With this funding, states and territories will be able to create new programming or build on existing programs that provide technical assistance to SMMs. Applicants are encouraged to submit proposals for funding that cover initiatives such as, but not limited to:
- Promoting the benefits of smart manufacturing technologies among SMMs based on national and regional economic development and supply chain priorities;
- Identifying and providing financial assistance to facilitate SMMs’ access to and implementation of smart manufacturing and high-performance computing resources and technologies; and
- Securing partnerships with labor unions and other stakeholders to expand and diversify the smart manufacturing talent pool and develop, promote, and scale adoption of smart manufacturing training.
The program also provides states and territories an opportunity to connect SMMs with a diverse coalition of public and private technical assistance providers, such as the Manufacturing USA institutes, the National Laboratories, NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnerships, Industrial Assessment Centers, and institutions of higher education.
DOE seeks applications for programs that will be self-sustaining long-term. Competitive funding awards of up to $2 million per state will be made over an up-to three-year period. States will be required to provide a cost match of at least 30% of the award. An informational webinar on the State Manufacturing Leadership Program funding opportunity will be held on April 6, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. ET. Full applications are due on May 30, 2023 at 5 p.m. ET. Learn more by visiting DOE’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains.